Summary of the debacle so far:

- My account seems to have been flagged and shadowbanned, based on the symptoms, but it doesn't actually say this anywhere in the UI

- The reason is unclear; I've received no notification or explanation of any sort from Github, and had to find out through someone at $customer not being able to see my comments

- I sent a support ticket 16 hours ago, and have gotten zero response or acknowledgment so far.

- *All* of my content, except for commits, is hidden without notice; it looks deleted to anyone not logged in as me.

- My repos are gone. Any PRs and comments I've made in other repos over the past decade+ are gone. My Gists are gone.

- This includes at least one Matrix MSC that's entirely gone, and many review comments on other Matrix MSCs and NixOS RFCs. There's just entire chunks of the standards process history missing now.

- Github's account data export only includes my own repositories; all contributions to other projects are missing. Gists are completely missing.

- I can no longer do my job for $customer, that pays my income; because anything I post in their private company repositories(!!) is also invisible - including everything I've worked on over the years, retroactively.

Like, mistakes happen, an account can get flagged for erroneous reasons, fine. But it's slowly dawning on me just how much impact this is having, with seemingly no recourse. And it begs the question of how many other people this has happened to.

Update: apparently it was a mistake on Github's end, and I have been unbanned.

Remaining questions:
- Why did that answer come 16 minutes after beginning to make noise about this?
- How could this happen in the first place?
- Why are there absolutely no mechanisms for repository owners to eg. undo this locally, so as to not break projects that were contributed to?

@joepie91 my first guess is that a bunch of butthurt "vpn industry" related people decided to mass report you over your old gist about how vpns suck

@Rairii Brigading a report button is certainly high on my list of plausible causes (though there's more than one possible source, not just the VPN folks).

Another, more innocuous explanation is a misclick; someone posted slurs in the comments under one of my gists briefly before the ban. It's possible that they accidentally banned the author of the *gist* (me) rather than the author of the comment.

@Rairii That having been said, whatever the reason, the *way* this is done - a completely silent shadowban without any clear recourse or indication, affecting everything including standards repos and private company repositories - is unacceptable.

@joepie91 agreed, but absolutely par for the course from big centralised services

@joepie91 i wonder what would have happened if you yourself were paying for github pro or something

@joepie91 this sounds extremely shite and I hope they unfuck the situation soon

@joepie91 i wonder if part of the problem is "all they have is a shadowban" like reddit did for so long was everything restored as it was? or are all those links broken for good?

@fyrfli The content was never deleted; I was always able to access it as long as I was logged into my account. It was just 'deleted' from the perspective of everyone else, because all public access to it was removed.

So yeah, it should all be back now.

@joepie91 stuff like this is really encouraging me to never touch github ever again, even with a 500 foot pole

@joepie91 wait, so, they didn't even attempt to explain what the mistake was?

@joepie91 did it restore your comments/gists/etc? This is so fucked.

@joepie91 To give a guess to question one: probably someone who knows someone at GH saw the toot after it startet to go viral and used the direct path, skipping firstlevel Support, and escalated things internally

@fleaz It may have been a few possible posts, not necessarily that one toot, but that's pretty much what I am suspecting, yeah

@joepie91 Did you get a response on the support ticket?

Holy shit I got second hand terror just reading about your experience, really glad you were unbanned and didn't lose previous work.

Yet another nail in the coffin that humongous, centralised services can't be trusted at all (especially if they "accidentally" ban the wrong guy!) and all the more reason to move off them!

@joepie91 who does standards process on MS Github of all things?!?!?!

Whatever became of self-hosting?

@joepie91 last person to invent decentralised git smells like farts


> Any PRs and comments I've made in other repos over the past decade+ are gone. My Gists are gone.

Were these also inaccessible to you? Or you could see them but others couldn't?

@akkartik I could still see them, though they were missing from the data export. Nobody else could.

@joepie91 Thanks! This is very helpful data. Sucks that you had to go through it, but might as well maximize what we learn from it, and spread the lessons far and wide.

Like, it never occurred to me that Github would have a moderation function! This isn't fucking Twitter! WTF! Github is, above all, an archive. With backups in an Arctic seed vault! There is no fucking excuse for changing the ACLs on years-old contributions.

@akkartik I mean, I understand there being a moderation function, and it is unfortunately definitely necessary.

The problem, though, is *how* that moderation function is implemented (no visibility, no notice, retroactive, etc.), and how little recourse there is for anyone involved.

@joepie91 Yeah. Not saying it doesn't make sense, just that having it on my radar changes how I think about my risk exposure to Github. It's more like Google now in my head.

@joepie91 Moderation is hard! It's not clear anybody does it perfectly. It seems worth keeping stuff you care about out of other people's moderation blast radius.

@akkartik Ahh right, I get what you mean now. Yeah, this definitely caused me to mentally recategorize Github as well. I'd always rationally *known* of this risk of course, but it never quite 'landed' in a visceral way, so to say.

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